2nd Edition

Scheduling and Budgeting Your Film A Panic-Free Guide

By Paula Landry, Paula Landry Copyright 2018
    340 Pages
    by Routledge

    340 Pages
    by Routledge

    Budgeting and scheduling are easy in principle but hard in practice. The successful producer has a solid plan for juggling dozens of activities and costs while retaining the flexibility to cope with those inevitable last-minute changes and stay on course. Preplanning the budget and schedule of any media project is absolutely essential, and the 2nd edition of Scheduling and Budgeting Your Film: A Panic-Free Guide shows you the intricacies of handling both budgeting and scheduling successfully.

    This new and updated edition explains the fundamentals of line producing in an easy-to-understand style, and includes tips and techniques that apply no matter what kind of scheduling or budgeting software you’re using. Author Paula Landry includes detailed examples of breakdown forms, organizing resources, distribution expenses, and hidden costs, and discusses how to set realistic priorities and find industry and state tax incentives. The new edition also includes discussions of transmedia and multi-purpose shooting, special considerations for VR, 4K and 3D shooting, new web platforms and mobile technology, crowd funding, film festivals, and much more.

    • Each chapter is filled with handy checklists, tips, practical advice, and anecdotes, showing how scheduling and budgeting are done in the real world;
    • Principles apply to any type of media project: film, video, music video, projects hosted online, and corporate and educational videos;
    • An accompanying eResources page offers downloadable forms and templates, and other essential resources.

    Chapter One – Schedule & Budget Basics

    What is Production Management

    The Schedule and Budget Relationship

    Why Schedule and Budget are the Foundation

    Who Manages the Schedule & Budget

    A Little History

    Helpful Tools and Software

    A Manual & Computer Approach

    Trends to Consider

    Basic Steps



    The End Uses of Budget and Schedule

    End of Chapter One Review

    Chapter Two – Identifying Resources: the Breakdown

    Relationship of Script and Breakdown

    Script Format

    Screenplay Software & Online Collaboration Tools

    The Process of Breaking Down a Script

    Read Script Completely

    Your System: Software, Colors, Numbers

    Number Scenes

    Eighths of a Page

    Identify Resources

    Breakdown Forms

    Transfer Information to Breakdown Forms

    End of Chapter Two Review

    Chapter Three – Organizing Resources: The Schedule

    Creating A Schedule

    Workflow & Consistency

    Transfer & Verify Breakdown Information Into Schedule

    Grouping Like Things



    The Most Finite Resource

    Arrange Schedule For Maximum Efficiency

    One-Liner Schedule

    Day Out Of Days

    Factors Impacting The Schedule

    Length of Script and Genre

    Film Or Digital Format

    Shooting Ratio & Experience

    Unions & Guilds


    Length Of Shooting Week / Day

    Sample Schedules
    End Of Chapter Three Review

    Chapter Four – Pricing Resources: the Budget

    Budget Components




    Account Numbers

    Backing into a Number

    Price resources

    Factors Impacting the Budget

    Type of Project and End Uses

    Locations & Incentives

    Wages, Union & Guilds

    Project Length & Format

    Financing and Crowd Funding

    Building a Budget


    Above the Line: Creative & Development Costs

    Below the Line: Production

    Below the Line: Post

    Below the Line: Other Expenses

    Sample Budgets

    Blank Budget Forms

    End of Chapter Four Review

    Chapter Five – Helpful Scheduling & Budgeting Tips

    Evolution of the Schedule & Budget

    The Team: A.D., Director, Producer, Location Manager

    Prices, Rates and Deal Making

    Changes During Shooting

    Publicity, Marketing & Film Festivals

    Safety, Legal & Insurance

    Distribution Expenses

    Hidden Expenses

    End of Chapter Five Review

    Chapter Six – Managing Resources

    Relationship between Script, Schedule & Budget

    Production Accountant, A.D. and Line Producer

    Optimize The Shoot

    No Unnecessary Movement

    Consider the Weather

    (between shooting, or down time) Days Off and Turnaround, Rest Time, Meal Times

    Using a Second Unit

    Other Factors,

    End of Chapter Six Review

    Chapter Seven – Special Considerations

    Narrative Feature Film

    Documentary Film

    Shorts, Web Video & Webisodes


    Educational & Corporate Film

    Working Without a Script

    End of Chapter Seven Review

    Chapter Eight – Additional Topics You Are Bound to Encounter


    Questions about Eighths

    Script Inconsistency & New Versions

    Honing Your Scheduling Skills

    The Experience of your Team


    Checking Your Numbers

    Obscure Budgetary Categories and Terminology

    Currency Conversion

    Honing Your Budgetary Skills

    In Conclusion

    End of Chapter Eight Review


    Paula Landry is a producer, film business and media-marketing consultant, crafting business and marketing plans, videos and branded content for Fortune 500 companies, non-profit companies and colleges. Landry is president of IdeaBlizzard Productions, and is the co-author of This Business of Film: A Practical Guide to Achieving Success in the Film Industry. An active member of NYWIFT, IFP, and AFM, Landry speaks at seminars around the world about the businesses of film, music, and media.

    "Pre-production is Landry’s middle name. Her work is so precise and detailed, the production team is always confident to stay within budget and on schedule when she is attached to the film."

    —Pamela Lubell, Producer

    "Paula Landry takes you behind the glamour and glitz of filmmaking to the nuts and bolts of actually getting a film made. This book is essential reading for anyone involved in movie production; a practical and pragmatic step-by-step guide to the why, how and when of turning a script into a finished film—a necessary addition to your tool kit."

    —Stephen Greenwald, Partner, Grey Eagle Films LLC

    "This book is for anyone who needs to understand the transition from an idea or script to a concrete plan of time and money to make a film. Engagingly written, Landry’s book demystifies this process, empowering filmmakers who are ready to get started with their projects today."

    —Jon Reiss, Filmmaker/Author/Media Strategist, Hybrid Cinema

    "Paula Landry’s book is an amazing resource for emerging filmmakers or anyone starting out in producing. The book is incredibly user friendly, clearly explained, and offers a step-by-step guide to the topic. When you’re ready to get serious, read this book."

    —Ken Aguado, Studio Executive, Producer, The Salton Sea (2002); Co-author of The Hollywood Pitching Bible